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Deno

A secure runtime for JavaScript and TypeScript built with V8, Rust, and Tokio
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Deno deno.com

The Deno team takes funding and starts a company around the project

Ryan Dahl and Bert Belder announcing the Deno Company:

Deno is not a monolithic system, but rather a set of technologies that we believe can be repurposed to a variety of needs. Not every use-case of server-side JavaScript needs to access the file system; our infrastructure makes it possible to compile out unnecessary bindings. This allows us to create custom runtimes for different applications: Electron-style GUIs, Cloudflare Worker-style Serverless Functions, embedded scripting for databases, etc.

In order to vigorously pursue these ideas, we have raised 4.9 million dollars of seed capital… This investment means we will have a staff of full-time expert engineers working to improving Deno. We will ensure that issues are addressed, bugs are fixed, timely releases are made; we will ensure Deno is a platform others can build on with trust.

Deno will remain MIT licensed: no open core. It appears they will commercialize through infrastructure and other offerings. Maybe deploy is the first of these?

Deno github.com

Deno 1.6 lets you compile TypeScript to a single executable

A (potentially) landmark feature landed in Deno 1.6:

deno compile --unstable https://deno.land/std@0.79.0/examples/cat.ts will make you an executable version of the module.

This puts Deno-based TypeScript projects in the same league as Go and Rust by providing a way to distribute software without the pain of dynamically linking multiple files. (This single-binary distribution has made Go a popular choice for projects such as the GitHub CLI and Stripe CLI.)

Node has had a similar capability by way of Vercel’s pkg project, but Deno sets itself apart by supporting the feature as part of the runtime itself.

Deno github.com

Aleph.js is a React Framework in Deno

Aleph.js doesn’t need webpack or other bundler since it uses the ESM imports syntax. Every module only needs to be compiled once and then cached on the disk. When a module changes, Aleph.js just needs to re-compile that single module, there’s no time wasted to re-bundle every changes, and instantly updates in the browser by HMR (Hot Module Replacement) with React Fast Refresh.

The “$X but for Deno” meta trend is starting to pick up steam. Expect more like this in 2021 and beyond.

Angie Rojas stackbuilders.com

Does Deno mean goodbye to Node.js?

Angie Rojas shared some insights into what Deno brings to the TypeScript ecosystem and whether or not it will “render Node.js obsolete.”

During the last 10 years, Node.js has become a big player in the backend framework market, powering several large scale applications across the globe. Meanwhile, JavaScript has also evolved greatly, not only because of the efforts of its development team, but also based on community feedback. However, integrating some of these new language features into a 10-year-old framework is not really straightforward, and has a high level of complexity.

Therefore we could say that Node.js’ architecture hasn’t evolved as fast as the language. As a basic example, Node.js is still based on callbacks, while there are far better ways to deal with asynchronicity in modern JavaScript. This is something that its creator, Ryan Dahl, has acknowledged in the past few years, and it has moved him to work on a new framework that addresses some of these issues. It is called Deno, and in the following article, we would like to explore some of its concepts to determine if it will render Node.js obsolete.

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